Meet Our Business Members: Folkington's

, 27 September 2022
Meet Our Business Members: Folkington's
Paul Bendit of Folkington's picking apples

We speak to Paul Bendit, owner of Folkington’s

What was the inspiration behind starting Folkington’s?

After the outbreak of Foot and Mouth in 2001, there was naturally a great deal of concern about the provenance of meat, and customers became much more interested in the backstory of their groceries. We saw an opportunity to bring the same provenance and terroir associated with wine, to fruit juices. And Folkington’s was born.

What goes into a bottle of Folkington’s?

We have a principle of ‘less is more’ which comes from my experience of visiting Italy as a boy, where my grandmother lived. Italians believe in using only a few, really good quality ingredients, and that’s what we do too. We always source our ingredients sustainably by returning to the same farms and farming communities each year. This not only contributes to their long-term sustainable income, but also ensures our drinks have a unique consistency in both quality and taste. We don’t use artificial sweeteners or preservatives, and we never use concentrate.

Tell us more about your apple juice made with local apples

For our apple juice, we use a blend of Russet and Jonagold, grown in Sussex, Kent and Herefordshire. Farmers who grow Bramley and Cox apples need Russet trees to pollinate them. But when they’ve picked the Bramleys and Coxes, the Russets are often left to drop and rot, so we pay a bit extra to get them picked and saved, avoiding food waste and as a consequence, tonnes of greenhouse gases being emitted.

Our apples are then pressed near the orchards in Herefordshire, and from there it’s a short drive to Wales where the juice is bottled and packaged in easily recycled materials.

Do you do anything else for the environment?

As well as working to reduce our impact on the environment through minimising food miles, food waste and our carbon footprint, our business is independently certified as carbon neutral.

Why did you decide to become a Sussex Wildlife Trust business member?

Sussex is very important to us; it is where we are based, and we have a strong customer base here. We like to support local charities, and the work of the trust aligns closely with our values and that nature and wildlife are of huge importance to our team.

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